I have extolled the virtues of electronic reference books before. They are easy to search and easy to access from anywhere you have an internet connection and a valid, current Suffolk ID number. But there is sometimes another key advantage to electronic reference sets, and that is that publishers often don't just close out the content with the publication of the print version. They actually continue to revise, update, and add fresh content. This kind of continuing effort does not occur with all eReference, but it is the case in our latest Notable E-Book, the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.
This current (2007) encyclopedia is based on a companion print resource of some 11 volumes. Our electronic version has all of the over 1800 entries in the paper set, but also includes regular updates--there have been two so far --of new and revised entries and other features. I've just received notice that 20 new entries have been added. These include Adoption, Biosociology, Global Warming, Practice Theory, Sweatshops, as well as several biographical entries on famous figures like Kant and Darwin.
Blackwell, a respected publisher, says of the encylopedia: "This ground-breaking project brings together specially commissioned entries written and edited by an international team of the world's best scholars and teachers. Published simultaneously in print and online, it contains...clear, concise, expert definitions and explanations of the key concepts, entries ranging from short definitions of key terms to extended explorations of major topics, both classical sociology and contemporary developments in the field, and introductions to sociological theories and research that have developed outside of the United States and Western Europe. "
The online version is not particularly elegant in design, but it is serviceable. Search for key words in the search box in the upper right of the screen, or browse the Table of Contents by alphabetical entries using the links in the left frame.
When you are looking for quick overviews or definitions of sociological theories and topics, this extensive electronic encyclopedia might well be worth consulting.